Dinosaur Handprint Craft

by Michael Monet
Handprints create the body of the dinosaur.

Handprints create the body of the dinosaur.

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Young children have a hard time drawing specific lines and shapes. Asking a child to draw a dinosaur by hand may discourage a young child from completing the task. Instead, use a dinosaur handprint craft that uses the finger painting to end up with the same result. This style of creating a dinosaur will be more enjoyable for young children and help them produce a piece of art they can take pride in.


Handprint crafts require students to dip the palm and fingers of their hands into paint and press it against the paper quickly before it drips or dries. This project requires large, shallow receptacles to hold enough paint for students to dip their hands in but not their wrists or arms. Paper plates with 1 to 2 inches of height on the brim work well and prevent students from making a mess. Craft paint and construction paper are required, and extras such as colored pens and pencils, glue and glue-on items are optional. Beads, sequins and glitter make good glue-on decorations.

Project 1

Draw an outline of a dinosaur in pencil on a large piece of construction paper. For best results, this dinosaur should have a large body to give students plenty of room to finger paint. Trace the outline in dark black pen. Copy this drawing as many times as needed so that each student has the stencil of a dinosaur. Give each student a paper plate with a paint color of their choice. Instruct students to dip just the palm of their hands and their fingers into the paint and press it to the paper to color in the dinosaur. Let the paint dry before moving on.

Project 2

Give each student a blank piece of construction paper and a paper plate filled with a paint color of their choice. Have students dip their palms and fingers into the paint and press it against the paper. Students have a choice to make the imprint with their hands upright or sideways -- the different ways change the shape of the dinosaur. Students can make three separate handprints for one dinosaur; one handprint straight up, one tilted to the left and one tilted to the right. This gives the appearance of a dinosaur body with spikes. Students draw in the details of the dinosaur, including the head, face and tail, with a pencil. Let the dinosaur dry completely before moving on.


Once you've finished either of the projects from Section 1 and Section 2, allow your students to decorate their dinosaurs with more detail. Give them colored pens, pencils and crayons to add small additions to the face, body and tail. Provide glue and glue-on items such as beads, sequins and glitter to detail the scales, eyes, teeth and nails. This part of the craft gives students a chance to personalize their creations. Cut out the dinosaurs, punch a hole in the body and hang them from the ceiling with string.

Photo Credits

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